When is it morally, legally and religiously justifiable to disclose another person's HIV/AIDS status?
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It's almost never justifiable to reveal another person's medical information, especially as regards HIV, since the potential for discrimination in many forms is so great. However, a person can be held criminally liable if they knowingly have unprotected sex or other risky behavior with a person who is uninfected because the disease is deadly.
So if I knew someone was HIV positive and I also knew they were in a new physical relationship, I would feel compelled to notify the person, unsavory a prospect as that is, or at least to confront the person who is HIV positive about whether or not they have notified their partner.
Every individual has a right to privacy when it comes to their medical status, as long as they are not in a position to harm others. The debate on disclosure of one's HIV/AIDS status continues as new research on how the disease is spread continues. Scientists know the disease can be spread by sexual intercourse, sharing needles with an infected person, direct contact with infected blood,infected mother to baby, and in mother's breast milk. Any time a situation involving these methods of infection occur, and a person is at risk occurs, notification is paramount for the individual to take the necessary precautions or medical treatments. Unfortunately, there is a lot of discrimination and fear about the disease because many people are not educated about how contact is made. It is important to balance the risks of infection to others, before disclosing personal information that may likely harm the individual who has HIV/AIDS. It is justifiable to disclose in criminal cases involving rape, incest, sexual abuse, IV drug use in which others are involved. As far as religious and moral issues, in the area of marriage, and having children, disclosing this information again is paramount to the health and safety of all involved.
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